- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 4, 2007


Noble: Daniel Polsby, the gun owner’s intellectual and recipient of the St. Gabriel Possenti Society’s Medallion of Honor.

The St. Gabriel Possenti Society is a gun-rights advocacy group named for a heroic Catholic seminarian who single-handedly rescued the town of Isola, Italy, from predatory bandit-soldiers in 1860. St. Gabriel’s sharp-shooting forced the intruders to drop their weapons and flee. The society promotes St. Gabriel as the Patron Saint of Handgunners.

When announcing the award, Society Chairman John Snyder said of Mr. Polsby: “[He] is the leading academic champion of the individual civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms in the United States today.” Mr. Polsby, dean of the George Mason Unversity School of Law, has written some of the most influential articles in support of gun rights. He recently helped lobby to overturn the D.C. gun-ban statute, calling it unconstitutional.

For supporting the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, Daniel Polsby is the Noble of the Week.

Knave: Comcast, the monopolist cable provider whose campaign against lawsuits is really just anti-consumer.

As D.C. residents know, a cable television watcher’s only option in many neighborhoods is Comcast. Some market that is. Now, to make matters worse, Comcast is currently trying to stop customers from taking their legal disputes to court. It sneakily mails opt-out forms with its monthly bills giving customers 30 days to decline a new arbitration-only process — no judge or jury — to settle conflicts. The language in the pamphlet may also limit what actions can be taken against the company. If customers fail to opt out, they forfeit their right to bring a complaint to court. Naturally, Comcast continues to reserve its own right to sue customers for copyright infringement or unapproved use of services.

Comcast’s Aimee N. Metrick said that arbitration is preferrable for all parties involved because it is usually quicker and less expensive. But revoking a customer’s right to choose the forum for a legal resolution clearly benefits Comcast. The 30-day time frame is also causing a stir among consumer-rights advocates who criticize a change of service terms without much in the way of customer consultation. All in all, this new policy is bad business for Comcast customers. They should be sure to opt out of the agreement right away.

For pulling a fast one over on its customers with an anti-consumer policy, Comcast is the Knave of the week.

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